Reducing your emissions

The things we do every day produce carbon emissions. When we drive our cars, take a shower, turn on the lights and choose the foods we buy, we are building our personal ‘carbon footprint’.

Your carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide you produce as an individual. The less carbon your lifestyle produces, the smaller your footprint becomes, and your negative impact on our climate is reduced.

At Greenfleet, we believe that we all need to reduce and avoid carbon emissions and then offset any remaining emissions to protect our climate.

There are many simple ways you can reduce your emissions today as you live, work and travel.


Food and groceries

It takes energy to grow, process, package, transport and warehouse the food we eat. Much of this energy, and the emissions it produces, is expended long before our food reaches us. Choosing foods that require less handling is a strong step towards lower emissions.

  • Buy local produce. By reducing the distance that food is transported between the original grower and point of sale, we reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated by transport

  • Buy seasonal produce. This reduces the ‘food miles’ or emissions associated with transportation and refrigeration of foods that are out of season

  • Cut down on processed foods. This will reduce demand for the energy needed to process and package these foods

  • Cut down on meat. Livestock production accounts for nearly 80% of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture worldwide

  • Reduce your food waste by not buying more than you need. Monitor what you consume and what you throw out and try to reduce the amount you buy in the future

  • Compost fruit and vegetable waste. When organic waste breaks down in landfill, it produces methane which has a global warming impact 21 times that of carbon dioxide. Compost can also be used as a natural fertiliser

  • Buy organic and low-chemical produce. Increasing use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides has contributed to rising agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. By buying organic, you will also be encouraging agricultural industries to reduce their emissions.


Cars and travel

Did you know that for every litre of unleaded petrol your car releases around 1.7 kg of greenhouse gas? While one litre of diesel releases around 2.9kg? Whether you drive or not, there are ways to reduce your emissions while travelling.

  • When possible, catch public transport, walk or ride a bike. You’ll reduce your emissions, enjoy the health benefits, and can save time when travelling during peak hour 

  • Investigate car sharing options such as Car Next Door or arrange to car pool

  • When driving, follow our driving tips to do so efficiently and remember to offset your annual car emissions

  • Air travel is emissions intensive. When holidaying, think about staying locally, minimising multiple flights, and using accredited eco-tourism operators. Make sure your offset your flight emissions with Greenfleet

  • Buy locally produced souvenirs. Buying a cheap imported item creates additional transport emissions and doesn’t support the local community.


Shopping and recycling

When we throw things away and buy new products, we drive the demand for more energy, because items require energy to produce, package and transport.

  • Choose to purchase locally produced items, thus reducing ‘travel miles’ – the energy used to transport items long distances

  • Buy recycled products or products with at least some recycled content. This reduces the demand for new materials in the production process

  • Buy second-hand. Before making a purchase, check if you can find what you’re looking for on websites such as Gumtree, e-Bay or Facebook Marketplace

  • Repair, refill and reuse items where possible

  • Recycle packaging and products instead of sending them to landfill

  • Cut down on your consumption. Before making a purchase, ask yourself if you really need it.


Homes and living

From the design of your house, to the way you use your heating and cooling, your home can have a significant impact on your carbon footprint.

  • The orientation of your house can impact how much artificial heating and cooling you use. Position bedrooms on the side of the house that receives the least sun in summer, so they stay cool

  • Materials such as concrete, brick and tiles have a high ‘thermal mass’, meaning lots of energy is needed before these materials change temperature. Choosing these materials means that the temperature in your house will remain more constant

  • Take advantage of nature. Trees and artificial shade such as wide eaves and external blinds can help prevent the sun from heating up your house. Careful positioning of windows and skylights can also reduce the need to use artificial lighting

  • Installing solar power and hot water will save you energy and money in the long term

  • Reduce heat loss and gain in your house by installing adequate insulation and double-glazed windows. Curtains and blinds will also reduce the transfer of heat through windows

  • Use your heating and cooling efficiently. Heat or cool the areas of your house that you are using and close doors to seal off unused rooms. Turn off heating and cooling when you’re not at home

  • Offset your remaining household emissions with Greenfleet.


Water use

Household water systems and hot water heaters contribute to climate change by consuming energy derived from carbon-based fuels and generating greenhouse gases.

  • Install water efficient appliances such as taps, shower heads, toilets, washing machines and dishwashers, and an energy-efficient hot water system

  • When purchasing appliances, review star rating systems for water and energy efficiency

  • Take shorter showers to reduce the amount of energy used to heat water

  • Ensure you only use your dishwasher and washing machine when you have a full load. Dishwashers use the same amount of water and energy no matter the size of the load

  • While some washing machines have adjustable water levels, they tend to use as much electricity for a small load as a large one

  • Plant a drought-tolerant garden that can survive on rainwater.


The workplace

While you can’t always control everything about your work environment, there are simple steps you can take to help reduce workplace emissions

  • Switch off the lights in rooms that are not in use, particularly in communal areas like meeting rooms, kitchens and storage areas

  • Turn off your computer and monitor at the end of the day and over the weekend, rather than leaving them on standby

  • Keep an eye out for equipment that can be turned off at the end of each day, such as printers, TVs and coffee machines

  • Defrost the communal fridge so it runs efficiently

  • Encourage your colleagues to follow your lead by starting up a ‘Green Office Brigade’

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